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Monte Melkonian in center
|Birth name|| Monte Melkonian|
|Other names|| Avo, Abu Sindi, Saro, Timothy Sean McCormack|
|Birth date|| 25 November 1957|
|Lived in|| Visalia, Tehran, Beirut, France, Yerevan, Karabakh|
|Resides in|| Martuni (Karabakh)|
|Death place|| Muganli|
|Death date|| 1993/06/12|
|Death year|| 1993|
|Resting place|| Yerablur|
|Resting GPS|| 40° 9' 36" N, 44° 27' 15" E|
|Education|| University of California Berkeley|
|Military rank|| Lieutenant Colonel|
|Languages|| English, Armenian, Spanish, French, Japanese, Arabic, Italian, Turkish|
|Dialects|| Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, Persian Armenian, Karabakh Armenian|
|Ancestral villages|| Merzifon|
|Spouses|| Seta Kbranian|
Monte Melkonian (November 25, 1957 – June 12, 1993), born in Visalia, California and educated at Berkely, was a famed Armenian military commander in the Karabakh war. He is credited for major military victories against Azerbaijan from 1992-1993. Melkonian had no prior service record in any country's army before being placed in command of an estimated 4,000 men in the war. He had built up his experience beginning from the late 1970s and 1980s where he fought against the various splintering factions in the Lebanese Civil War, against Israeli troops in the second Israeli invasion of Lebanon and was a member of ASALA.
Soviet Union collapsed around him. Finally, in Spring 1993 he led a force of 4000 men to victory in the Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabagh in an assault that stunned the UN Security.
Monte fell near Aghdam district, Nagorno Karabagh, recently after it was captured by Armenian forces. When his men called in the capture of enemy weapons, Monte went with 3 other troops to inspect the goods. When they arrived and parked their vehicle across the street from an armored vehicle, little did they know inside it waited armed Azeri troops. It is unknown why they were there. Some speculate that they may have gotten lost or stuck in the town somehow after the rest of the Azeri troops pulled out. However, most still believe that they were surprised by Monte and his men. What proceeded was an explosion of small arms and artillery fire. In the process of trying to dive behind a wall for cover shrapnel from one of the artillery shells entered Monte's temple which killed him instantly.
Monte was buried on top of the hill at the Yerablur Veterans Cemetery in Yerevan, much to the disappointment of adoring citizens of Karabagh who felt he should have been buried there. His tomb is a popular place for visitors of Armenia to come and pay their respects to the man who helped Armenians stop the trend of losing territory for the first time in centuries, and helping to secure a place for all Armenians to call "home".
- My Brother's Road : An American's Fateful Journey to Armenia, by Markar Melkonian (ISBN 1850436355) 2005.
- The Right to Struggle, Selected Writings of Monte Melkonian on the Armenian National Question, Edited by Markar Melkonian, (ISBN 0964156911) 1993.
Event Honoring Monte Melkonian
Event Honoring Armenian National Hero, Monte Melkonian, To Take Place On December 4, 2011, At The Zorayan Museum, Western Diocese In Burbank
Los Angeles, CA - A program celebrating the life and legacy of famed Armenian commander Monte Melkonian will be taking place on Sunday, December 4, 2011, on the occasion of what would have been his 54th birthday. Monte, a California native, was an intellectual and a freedom fighter who dedicated his life to the national-liberation struggle of the Armenian nation. He played a key role in the liberation of a part of Armenia - Artsakh - and was awarded the title of National Hero of the Republic of Armenia.
Among the speakers of the event will be Professor Markar Melkonian, brother of Monte and author of "My Brother's Road: An American's Fateful Journey to Armenia." Joining the program via Skype will be Seta Melkonian, Monte's wife; Dr. Armen Ayvazyan, a historian and political scientist; General Hmayak Haroyan, Monte's military companion in Artsakh and a renowned general in the Armenian armed forces; and government officials of the liberated Kashatagh region of Artsakh.
The event will offer an exhibit which will include Monte's personal items and letters, as well as photos of ancient Armenian monuments in Armenia's liberated territory. The event will commence at 6:00 PM and is free to the public. Zorayan museum is located at 3325 N. Glenoaks Blvd., Burbank, CA 91504.
The event is organized by the "Hayrenaser" organization, which has a mission to contribute to the preservation and development of Armenia's independent statehood by identifying and addressing critical challenges.